It was that day before the morning when I rang my own bell and it was only my loneliness that responded in silence.
After a successful run crowned by the opening of my LT bank account, acquiring one more of those precious SEB pens and, of course, realising I had left my reataurant card home, I took the hard decision to eat something (bread and oil, of course) there for lunch and then explore the city to find one more Jurgis ir Drakonas in the evening.
The soup I ordered in order to devour what was left on my card (a decision which evenutally led to my having to pay a bit with a regular card) was warm and tasty, and over the next day I provided them a very positive review on TripAdvisor.
Something I still owe to Europa Café, a fabulous place near the northern edge of the Marketplace-side of Váci street in Budapest.
I was somehow happy this evening. Happy and strangely calm, maybe just because I knew I shouldn’t fear anything as fear wouldn’t help me whatsoever.
I decided to go to that restaurant. I had a vague idea what that street could be and as I entered ever more deeply into the inner city I started recognizing areas my feet had touched in an époque that could be designated using one of my father’s favourite phrases in Russian, that was long ago and not true.
I still have some ties to Lithuania that it will be hard to me to pull apart, but that evening I just used these memories to trigger the feeling of walking somewhere I belonged. I did not, therefore, set my mind on mourning the blaze of future glory I once saw looming in those same streets.
That had been all in vain. But that part of the city has a good feeling to it, one worth relishing. And as elswehere in Vilnius, the way to the restaurant was paved with posters. Well, not the street itself, but the columns and the busstops. Not everywhere, but blatantly often can one see these tools of attracting ordinary people’s attention to an explosive cocktail of social issues ranging from being alert and vigilant at the sight of street or school violence (mainly or solely agains women, at least based on the pictures), through understanding the differences between children’s personalities for the purpose of insulting them less frequently as applying insults produces the opposite effect, to treating people suffering from Dawn syndrome as equals.
I don’t know if Lithuanians stop to read all those advertisments. The first time I saw one of them, I did not, something I deeply regret as that night I wandered in vain for some time just to realise it had been replaced by another advertisment, this time not a social one. But all along the road I stopped and pulled off my paper where I started noting words and expresisons first in LT, later in FI and PL languages, the three languages that my aim is to leran well during my stint in Vilnius,
Later on I added further languages, too, but that evening was dedicated to LT – and through those posters, I learnt a lot. I am sure to learn even more when I’m back.
Not just about the language, but the people’s soul as well. I don’t know if someone has already said it, but anyway, the language IS a soul of a people. That’s why it hurts so much when it changes, especially for the worse, in favour of the globally spoken bad English.
It’s not just the language that changes, it’s the people who speaks it that also does.
Back in days, I primarily learnt Hungarian in the streets from leaflets – I hardly find any in Vilnius, safe for those stuck in my mailbox. But who needs leaflets when one has posters?
Hopefully this part of the Lithuanian soul won’t change soon. Not for the time I’m there. And if it comes to pass that I become an unexpected parent I will know who to turn to – unless they swap that poster for another one, as I only put down the words and maybe (a part of) the phrase(s), but not the coordinates to be looked up in case of need.